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A very large body of work exists documenting the effects of green tea including cell culture, animal and human studies.
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Collectively, this body of work has shown that green tea is associated with a wide range of biological effects that improve health. The major bioactive compound in green tea that has received the most attention is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).  Studies indicate EGCG in combination with caffeine increases thermogenesis and fat oxidation. A number of human trials using various doses and methodologies have tested the ability of green tea, particularly EGCG, to promote weight loss with varying results. Recently, a comprehensive review and analysis of these studies was performed. The analysis included 11 studies that involved comparing EGCG-caffeine mixtures to placebo or different doses of green tea. A statistical analysis of all the studies indicated that subjects taking green tea lost on average nearly 3 pounds more than controls over a 12 week period. The effect was stronger in people who consumed less than 300 mg caffeine per day. Green tea represents one of the most researched dietary supplements, and these results confirm a positive effect on weight loss.

Hursel R, Viechtbauer W, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis. Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 Jul 14. [Epub ahead of print]